“The Barossa” encompasses both Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, a region known for its dry Rieslings. Because Eden Valley hadn’t been on the itinerary with Tony the trike guy, I wanted to hit a couple of wineries there on our way out of the Barossa to the Clare Valley (another region known for its dry Rieslings) – and our final wine region in South Australia. (Can you hear Adam’s sigh of relief and my whimper of grief?) I wanted to do an up-close-and-personal comparison of the two regions’ Rieslings.
But before we left Tanunda in the Barossa, where Bec lives, I wanted to make a stop at Chateau Tanunda. We wouldn’t do a tasting there (a difficult decision indeed and a mistake in hindsight), but I really wanted to see the impressive property. And it really is enthralling; it’s hard not to get caught up in the history and the grandeur of the place, especially if you get excited about wine. Even Adam, who doesn’t get excited about wine, was pretty impressed by the estate.
I loved the quotes and proverbs lining the sweeping tasting room slash museum, the rows of barrels, the dusty old cellars, and the courtyards.
Plus, one of the logos looks remarkably like the classic Minnesota Twins baseball logo. Who wore it better? Chateau Tanunda?
Or the Minnesota Twins?
Am I wrong?
And of course, I had to make myself into a wine label:
I’m so glad we stopped here! I would indeed love to come back, spend some more time, and drink some of the Chateau’s wines.
But there was Riesling waiting for me at Henschke, an iconic Eden Valley winery known for its old vines.
I had a long, leisurely tasting while Adam had a snooze in Sherwood.
(I can’t remember all the cellar door people’s names from all these wineries, but most of them have been outstanding, including the young man who looked after me here and even let me try some special releases.)
I had a little wander around the modern cellar door, too. Definitely a different vibe from that of Chateau Tanunda.
My Riesling tastebuds enlivened and Adam well-rested, he drove us the hour and a half to Clare Valley.
Several people had recommended O’Leary Walker wines to me, so that would be my introduction to wineries of the Clare Valley. And a beautiful introduction it was.
Again, stunning vineyards, and I pulled up a stool at a wine barrel with a view. Here, you could create your own flight, so I asked to try all of the Rieslings, and threw in a Gruner Veltliner for good measure. Yum! I bought my favorite of the Rieslings and the Gruner.
Now it was time to check out our campsite for the night – behind the Farrell Flat Hotel, in Farrell Flat (population 201), about 20 minutes outside Clare. Farrell Flat had an old railway station, some more silo art (it’s been a while since we’ve had silo art), and the pub.
The 201st person in Farrell Flat is “Chef,” the publican of the Farrell Flat Hotel (pub). What can I say about Chef? He was quite the character, and we enjoyably shot the shit with him at his memorabilia-filled bar for a while. (He also had his Harley in there.)
Adam and I shared Chef’s delicious lamb shanks alongside his homemade Shiraz:
(At least we think it was Shiraz. There could’ve been anything in that bottle. 😱 Actually, it was quite delicious.)
And I spent a fair bit of time playing PAC-MAN. Chef was not shy about scolding me about being too forceful with his machine. In fact, he was not shy about scolding me about a number of things. But I did get to cuddle his 10-week-old Pomeranian puppy (he had nine other dogs out back).
Adam and I had the campground (backyard) behind the pub to ourselves, so we retired to Sherwood to finish Chef’s bottle of Shiraz.